The ever growing demand for poultry products has led to increase in number of people getting attracted towards poultry farming. It is a profitable business prospect. Do you know the combined value of production from eggs, broilers, turkeys, and the value of sales from chickens was $42.7 billion in 2017? Also as per Statista, total egg production in the United States was at its peak in 2017 during the last decade.
However, running a poultry farm is not as easy as it appears. Starting and making it a successful venture is something entirely different. You are not going to be merely a chicken farmer. Instead you have to be an entrepreneur as well.
Poultry farming is said to be one of the most successful sectors in the United States. As far as the reasons behind the success of the industry is concerned, it is attributed to a collection of more efficient structural organizations, better production and processing technologies, and extending responsiveness to consumer demands.
Simply, taking this business to pinnacle requires putting in much more efforts. For operating this business you need to pay attention to the delicate care and maintenance. Explore some helpful tips and solution to help your poultry farm/s perform at their maximum potential.
- Right feed management: The quality of feed remains the main determinant factor in successful poultry farming. You must ensure that the birds must have an easy access to feed. From adequate feeder line height as per the height of the birds to reduction in the feed wastage and mixing feed with litter, there is a lot to incorporate. There are great chances for birds to peck at litter. To reduce the same some simple measures like monitoring feed bin levels during barn checks and activating trigger feed pans can be helpful.
- Ensure water management: Water being the most important nutrient accounts for more than 70 percent of the bird’s daily drinking needs. In fact, poultry consume more water than feed. Do you know a 5-pound broiler will consume about 18 pounds of water and approximately 10 pounds of feed during its lifetime? So an abundance of clean water is more than essential. A proper water management will reduce challenges and maximize performance. Keep a check for:
- Purging water lines during production and between flocks.
- Evacuation of biofilms and mineral buildup
- Pressure, mineral content, quality, height, and accessibility.
- Cleanliness of drinker lines prior to flock placement.
- Add in biosecurity: There can be one or more reasons for contamination.
- For this you can introduce well defined biosecurity practices throughout the broiler production. This will help ensure successful and safe poultry production. While it is aid hygiene, vermin and insect control on-farm, it is also assistive in limiting disease transmission within and between the barns.
- Keep away Coccidiosis: It is a parasitic disease caused by coccidian protozoa. Now this parasite can impact on intestinal integrity and make birds susceptible to many other intestinal problems. To maintaining intestinal integrity you can switch to some innovative health management program. This will aid birds perform to their maximum levels.
- Proficient brooding management: The period immediately after hatch requires special care and attention for the chicks. You must spend more time during this critical brooding phase. It ensures a good start in poultry production and will impact on the future health and performance of the birds significantly.
- Manage the downtime: To help reduce transmission of disease between flocks it is essential to keep an adequate downtime, i.e. at least 14 days. This will include appropriate cleaning and disinfection measures. Plus, it will also allow time to prepare for the next flock.
- Pre-placement preparation: There are several checkpoints to consider including floor temperature, heaters, relative humidity probes, ventilation, feeders, drinkers, and so on. It is required before the new flock arrives. Basically, this prevents losses during brooding.
- Proper litter management: While it is common for the birds to peck at the litter, the same acts as bedding in a poultry house. This means litter condition and quality put a serious impact on broiler intestinal health and profitability. Now it can be divided in two categories:
> Dry litter: For the litter which is dusty, it can be an indication that the birds may not be drinking enough. It can cause some respiratory problems.
> Wet litter: With the increase in wet litter problems, the ammonia levels in the barn rises. This poses danger to bird health potentially as it presents a vicious cycle for intestinal health. It serves as a breeding ground for potential pathogens. This can be a starting point for intestinal stress, further leading to diseases. So it is essential to prevent and manage litter moisture conditions.
- Maintain stocking density: Also referred to ‘crowding’ it is one of the most sensitive issues in poultry industry. Generally, a higher stocking density in addition to crowded housing conditions exerts a negative impact on performance. This will be leading to stress to both the birds and intestinal microbiota. As far as a comfortable stock density is concerned, it is said to be of three to four birds per square metre.
- Environmental management: There will be numerous components included in general environmental management. The list consists of maintaining relative humidity, temperature, ventilation and lighting. You need to understand that each component works both separately and together.
- Appropriate transition monitoring: This will aid in understanding what is happening in the barn. The examination of the activity of the flock and increase in the frequency at which barns are walked in helps early disease detection. Also monitoring of humidity, temperature, and ventilation, inside and outside is recommended.
- Mortality checks: It is crucial to cast away the diseased birds as early as possible to prevent it from spreading. Also start working with your veterinarian and ask them to design a program customized for your flock’s health.
- Entrust software management: With the responsibilities of production plants growing more complex, there arises a need to look for some innovative solutions. Something which helps you manage better and excel in today’s challenging market. Do you know with intensive observation and analysis you can predict chicken number, weight, and type of eggs laid? Yes, there are technological solutions to help monitor and track daily operations, meanwhile offering future projections.
Lastly, try to establish a strong communication and coordination between everyone involved in running your farm. This ensures a stronger and more successful management program for your business and birds.